PhoneCurry Awards, 2018

Let's end the year with a look back at the very best phones launched in 2018! From the editor's desk of PhoneCurry, India's most loved phone recommendations platform. Here goes...

Best Premium Phone

Apple iPhone XS Max

There’s no matching Apple’s attention to detail & craftsmanship. The level of refinement Apple gets with its phones, the crazy fast chipset, and the great App store makes the iPhone XS Max our pick for the Best Premium Phone of the Year 2018.

Best Premium Value Phone

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 6T continues the OnePlus’s commitment to provide people with the best of the phones, at the least of the price possible. You’re getting 90% of flagship value at 60% of the price. No beating that.

Best Premium Camera Phone

Google Pixel 3/XL

Man, the Pixel 3/XL camera is something else. And to imagine they achieve that level of (DSLR-like) photography with just a single lens. Amazing. Not to mention that ridiculously awesome night mode.

Best Premium Battery Phone

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Mate 20 Pro is an amazing phone any which way, but the battery it packs is something else. Couple that with Huawei’s aggressive approach to battery management, and you get a consistent 2 days of battery life. Not to forget that crazy fast charging tech!

Best Premium Performance Phone (Android)

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei wasn’t kidding when they said they will be launching the best in class CPU, and thanks to the amazing Kirin 980 and some software tweaks, the phone performs like a beast, leaving even the Snapdragon 845 phones in water.

Best Premium Design Phone

Oppo R17 Pro

Gorgeous, beautiful, curvy design - the Oppo R17 Pro is arguably the most beautiful and elegant design we saw in 2018 - Oppo knows how to do design, and you can see that pedigree here.

Best Premium Software Experience Phone

OnePlus 6T

There’s no beating OnePlus’s Software experience, and software is a hard thing to get just-right. OxygenOS does it with aplomb - with just the right tweaks over stock Android - achieving that rare combination of adding extra useful functionality while still keeping things dead simple.

Best Mid-Range Phone

Poco F1

The phone that really shook the market this year was unquestionably the Poco F1. It brought the flagship Snapdragon 845 down to the mid-range - and took everyone - from consumers to competition by surprise.

Best Mid-Range Value Phone

Poco F1

Again, this has to be the Poco F1. The phone that you get, for the price you get it at - amazing. Period.

Best Mid-Range Camera Phone

Nokia 8.1

Camera has not been Nokia's strong suit generally, but the 8.1 has been a pleasant surprise - easily one of the best camera phones in the mid-range - and not too far behind the best of flagships.

Best Mid-Range Battery Phone

Poco F1

This is getting a bit repetitive but the Poco F1 wins this one too, with a best in class 4000mAh battery, giving 2 days of battery life.

Best Mid-Range Performance Phone

Asus Zenfone 5Z

This one was complicated, with a damn close fight between the Zenfone 5Z and the Poco F1 - no wonder since both have the same Snapdragon 845 beast powering them - but in the end, the Zenfone 5Z wins by a whisker in benchmarks, so we are going to let it take the cake here.

Best Mid-Range Design Phone

Vivo V11 Pro

Ah, the Vivo V11 Pro. You beauty. The gradient color on the back adds the touch of flair, and plays with light in interesting ways - and then there is the 'tear-drop' notch - there are no two ways about it, the Vivo V11 pro is a striking-looking device.

Best Budget Phone

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

This one has been Asus' six out of the park, coming in right at the end of the year. To stand out in the hyper competitive budget segment in India takes some doing, and the Max Pro M2 does it with aplomb.

Best Budget Value Phone

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

It has to be the Max Pro M2 again, offering a combination of a stock Android experience, astounding battery life, good design, and decent cameras - if there is a phone that ticks all boxes, while not breaking your wallet, this is it.

Best Budget Camera Phone

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro

The Redmi Note series has now been the camera champion for at least the past 2 generations - and the Note 6 Pro is no different. It's simply the best camera package in this price range.

Best Budget Battery Phone

Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2

And we are back to the Max Pro M2 again - there are many things good about this phone, but a lot of people will be buying this because of the incredible battery life - 2 days easy.

Best Budget Performance Phone

Realme U1

One of the areas where Realme has tried to disrupt the market is by providing great performing phones at great prices. The Realme U1 was launched with the new Helio P70, which is similar to (and even a little better than) the Snapdragon 660. At this price range, something like this would have been unimaginable just a year ago.

Best Budget Design Phone

Realme U1

Realme U1 is also our pick for being the best designed phone in the budget segment (and there were a lot of good options to choose from this year). It's gorgeous looking, with its light pillars that make it look stunning in different lighting conditions.

Best All-Round Value Brand

Xiaomi

No one does value like Xiaomi, and that's why it's no wonder that it's the biggest smartphone brand in India right now. With Xiaomi, you know you are getting a reliable, and great bang for the buck experience, no matter what phone you choose.

Most Popular Premium Brand

OnePlus

On the premium side of things, it's OnePlus who has now taken the lead, leaving behind the likes of Samsung and Apple. The uncanny ability to offer a flagship phone at half the prices of competitors has of course helped, as has their focus on always providing a great, clean software experience.

Best Comeback Brand (Dark-horse)

Asus

Man, Asus has been hot this year. And they have taken everyone by surprise. The Max M1 Pro was amazing in the budget range (and has been followed by an even better Max M2 Pro), while the Zenfone 5Z has given some serious competition to the OnePlus 6/6T. Welcome back, Asus.

Most Disruptive Brand

Realme

While Xiaomi has ruled the budget smartphone space in India for sometime now, this year they had a pretty disruptive new contender to deal with - Realme. Realme came out with some pretty incredible phones and pretty incredible prices. Watch this space for more action.

Most Innovative Brand

Oppo

With the world being used to most of the innovation coming from American brands, this year was the year of the Chinese resurgence. Oppo came out with some pretty amazing innovations - from in-display fingerprint sensors, true full screen displays, to some astounding fast charging technologies. If you are the kind of person who likes to stay on the cutting edge, watch Oppo closely.

Most Stylish Brand

Honor

We have had some really stylish phones this year - and therefore choosing a winner was not simple - but we went for Honor because they have probably been the most consistent in terms of always giving out some great looking designs - and at all price brackets. Very simply, when you are buying an Honor phone, you can be sure a lot of thought has been put into design.